Editor’s Note: The following story is the first in a series profiling Panola County students graduating this spring.

Adjalon Bowers’ dream is to bridge connections.

“I like to communicate with people, and a lot of things get lost in translation, so I would like to be that person that can kind of reach here and reach there and bring these two together and say ‘OK, this is what they mean; this is what we’re gonna do.’ Because I think a lot of times in the community, things get lost because they just see it on paper, they never hear a voice on what’s going on,” Bowers said. “So I think that’s important, that’s what I’d like to do.”

Bowers, a 19-year-old communications major from Longbranch, will graduate from Panola College Thursday night with his associate’s degree — with his next stop at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he will major in business communication and corporate education.

After he gets his master’s degree, Bowers plans to come back to Carthage and find a job in public relations. He said his dream job would be to work in a school district where he can be a liaison between the school and the community.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere else but Carthage,” he said. “I love Carthage; I love the people. I have family and (have) grown up in church, I have family in the church and so I love Carthage. I love Carthage; I love the small town.”

While at Panola College, Bowers was heavily involved in not just the school, but also the community. At the school, he’s a part of the band, where he plays tuba. He’s a member of the history club, and he also has participated in the Student Government Association. Outside of school, he’s vice president of the Turner Alumni Ex-Students Association, a part of Life Code Mentoring Program and a musician at his church. He works at Excellent Teen Choice as the data specialist.

“I’m always busy when I’m not in school,” Bowers said. “I try to be a part of as many stuff so I can because I’m looking at my future. If I plan to be that liaison between someone and the community, I need to know what’s going on in the community. And so that’s what I was trying to do (with) that, be a part of it as much as I can.”

Family is an important aspect of Bowers’ life. Both his grandparents attended Panola College, and his mother and uncle took classes at Panola College, so they were part of the reason he decided to attend there. His family has been a big support for him.

“I’m a family-oriented person,” he said. “...My immediate family, it’s only about six of us, so my immediate family, we’re real small, so we all support each other. We have a group text; we all text each other, and so having that constant support from my (aunt and uncle)... having that support from people, it’s really played a part in my life, and I can’t, lots of time I get speechless, because I’m thinking, you receive texts a day saying, just just random texts, ‘Do good in school today,’ even from church members and even from community members, so I’m just blessed. I really am, I’m blessed.”

Bowers said he would recommend Panola College to anyone.

“I have teachers that get you involved in class, like if they ask a question, they want everyone to participate and so it kind of makes you get rid of your stage fear if you have any because you’re speaking in front of people that you don’t know, and a lot of teachers, they are very helpful there at Panola,” he said. “A lot of them knew that my major was communication, so they made sure that everything I did, I got up and talked. So they always asked me the questions first, and then I was able to ask them questions, and so it was a teacher-student relationship with everyone knowing what I want to do, and they made sure that I did whatever I could, whatever they could to help me in that area.”